Lexington, KY - May 16, 2009 - The Kentucky Spring Classic presented championship honors to the Junior Hunter divisions this afternoon after the riders completed their second day of competition. Produced by Kentucky Horse Shows LLC, the Kentucky Spring Classic is being held at the Kentucky Horse Park in scenic Lexington, KY, and will conclude with its final day of competition tomorrow.
The competition kicked off this afternoon with the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under division, which was dominated by Caitlin Ziegler of Mequon, WI. Ziegler rides out of her family's Artisan Farms and shows her hunter horses under the instruction of trainer Cookie Beck. Ziegler won the division's championship tricolor with her eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding Winter Place, and was awarded the reserve championship honors with her seven-year-old gelding Safari.
Ziegler was very excited to have done so well with both of her horses during the two days of competition and explained how different they each are to ride. "We have had Winter Place for two years now and every time we show he keeps getting better," Ziegler smiled. "We have worked on staying more consistent each time we show. You have to keep him collected because he has a long stride, but he is really good."
"Safari we have had for two years now and he is the total opposite of Winter Place," Ziegler continued. "You have to stay loose and you can go a little more forward with him. In between each horse I have to try not to think about how I rode the course with the other one. I have to start over new because I know that it is going to be a totally different ride with the each of them."
Ziegler has been competing at the Kentucky Horse Park since she was eight years old and really enjoys coming here. "We come here every year and we really like the show," she said. "The park is beautiful and the new footing is really good this year. We will be back to show here again over the summer."
Next to show in the Stonelea Ring this afternoon was the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under division, with the division's championship honors going to In the Black, owned by All Seasons Farm of Wellington, FL, and ridden by Hayley Barnhill. The reserve championship honors were awarded to Solitaire, owned by Sweet Oak Farm of Wellington, FL, and ridden by Abigail McArdle of Barrington, IL.
Fifteen-year-old Hayley Barnhill of Memphis, TN, got the catch ride on In the Black this weekend and has only shown the horse one other time, but did very well over the two days of Junior competition.
"He is awesome; he is one of the coolest horses that I have ever ridden," Barnhill said of In the Black. "He is really easy and he jumps great. He is a very cool horse and I love to ride him."
Barnhill has been riding for about eight years now and does the hunters, jumpers, and equitation with trainer Dave Pellegrini. "I love the thrill of riding; you never know what's going to happen," she said.
Barnhill has shown in Kentucky a lot and loves the facility. "It is beautiful here and everyone is really nice," she acknowledged. "It is just a fun show. The new footing is really cool too. I have never ridden on this footing before and I love it. I think the horses go better and even when I am jogging it feels better for me, it is easier to run in," she laughed. "I think that it is really good for the horses."
Following the younger divisions, competition continued in the Stonelea Ring with the two divisions of older Junior Hunters. The horses and riders were competing for championship honors today, and Jennifer Waxman of Chagrin Falls, OH, topped both divisions.
First to compete was the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, with the championship tricolor going to Jennifer Waxman and Cachet, owned by Cavallo Farms LLC and Caroline Spogli of San Diego, CA. Reserve championship honors were awarded to The French Connection, owned and ridden by Kathryn Haefner of Hamburg, NY.
Waxman followed that up with a win in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17, where she rode the top two horses in that division. Waxman and Davis Cup, owned by Paulexi LLC of Bristol, VA, won the championship tricolor, and she rode Red Panda, owned by John Ingram, of Nashville, TN, to the reserve championship award.
There is just one day of competition left for Kentucky Horse Shows LLC's spring show series. The Kentucky Spring Classic's hunter competition will conclude in the Stonelea Ring tomorrow with the final championship presentations for the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions.
For more information, please visit http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
Photo Credit: Caitlin Ziegler topped the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under championship at the Kentucky Spring Classic, winning the championship honors with Winter Place (left), and the reserve championship honors with Safari (right). Photo © 2009 Lauren Fisher. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/junior-hunter-ziegler-waxman-barnhill-05-09.html">Junior Hunter Championships Awarded to Caitlin Ziegler, Jennifer Waxman, and Hayley Barnhill</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com